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Cake Always Falls

Every time I make a cake from scratch it falls. Every. Freaking. Time. I follow the directions to a tee and still. I'm so frustrated. I was baking a cake for my daughter's b-day. The side set up first and the center collapsed. I don't even think I can salvage it. The cake isn't more than a 1/2 thick in the center. I'm going to need a ton of frosting to make it look good, but the cake to frosting ratio is going to be way off. Thanks for letting me vent. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Right now I'm so pissed I want to just throw it away. Maybe tomorrow I can tackle it with a clear head. It's been a very long week.
BTW: I live at 7200 feet above sea level, I used a 9x13x2 glass pyrex pan (even though they fall no matter what I bake in). I baked it at 350 degrees (convection) for about 25 min or so. Anything else?

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  1. What is your recipe? When did you open your baking powder?

    Your time and temperature sound reasonable, unless it is getting overly dark.

    1. Have you checked your oven's accuracy with a thermometer?

      1. cut the cake in half and look inside. Now take a bite from the middle. Is it gooey and undercooked? If so, Erika_L is right, the oven may be underheating. Otherwise if the collapsed part is all thick and rubbery inside, your altitude could be the problem: water and CO2 may be leaving the batter before it gets hot enough for the starch/proteins to cook and solidify the batter into a fluffy sponge.

        In either case, confirm that oven is fully preheated to the exact temp by using an oven thermometer. If altitude is the culprit, bake at higher heat setting.

        1. Interesting you know your altitutde.
          Definitely chemistry and physics are coming into play giving you the results you're experiencing.

          You might want to check this link and others on "baking at high altitudes"
          http://www.ochef.com/327.htm

          1. Try more water and less baking powder. You're at a higher altitude so baking is funky.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sporkman

              I just had to write you a note to thank you Sporkman (Feb. 14'09) for your solution to my problem also. I have always been a "scratch" cook and recently changed my oven for a new one with a convection feature. I began to only use the convection instead of a bottom heat "bake" and my cakes started to fall in the middle. I struggled to understand why each and everyone of them fell trying to think what I did wrong or different. After reading your suggestion, I put my fallen, cooled birthday cakes back in their pans and popped them into the oven preheated on BAKE for an additional 10 minutes and the centre popped up. My son's birthday cake was saved and I thank you!